Issue by Issue – Arak: Son of Thunder #16

Writer – Roy Thomas, Danette Thomas
Artist – Adrian Gonzales
Inker – Alfredo Alcala
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – Alfredo Alcala

Having finally reached Byzantium, Arak and Satyricus enter the city, amazed by the various sights around them, the stir of the people and the hunger in their bellies, at least as far as the latter is concerned. Caught stealing a bit of food, Satyricus causes a bit of commotion which soon turns into heresy as he accidentally smashes an icon being paraded through the streets. Now the satyr finds himself near to being lynched, protected by Arak, but all for nought until Commander Cometas, the man who ferried them to the city upon his ship. Roy Thomas and Adrian Gonzales who pen this tale finally bring it all home when Arak is brought before the Empress and her son though not exactly in the way that readers thought would happen. Taking place is a contest to judge the fairest of maidens with the lucky winner to be made Constantine VI’s wife in a roundabout plot by the man’s mother, to which they are made privy. Interrupting the proceedings is none other than Valda who has had quite enough by this point and as luck would have it, turns out to gain the fancy of Constantine who declares her his intended. All of this leads to Arak having to complete a trial in order to keep Valda by his side and away from Constantine, said contest involving a bit of a swim and a creature he must face without weapons and once successful, the might of the Byzantine army. Once this tale comes to an end, Thomas and his wife Danette present yet another starring Valda the Iron Maiden set in her past and sometime after her adventures with the Avar Huns. This story sees her at a market with Malagigi, looking to replace Carolus Magnus’ favourite horse which was lost and while traversing the place, Valda comes upon a small man with an offer of an exotic animal. This of course leads to a little bit of a misunderstanding with Valda getting a little hot under the collar and looking to prove her that said confusion was not due on her part. Thomas and Gonzales with Alfredo Alcala providing some very able assistance, make this another great issue packed with action, intrigue and a reunion long in the coming.

4 out of 5

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